Times Up So When Do Things Get Back To Normal

By Kraig KannOctober 24, 2002, 4:00 pm
The time has come when every player in the field at the Buy.Com Tour Championship might just have to look back at the one stroke that slipped away in Springfield, Mo., or the $437.50 that escaped them in Seaside, Calif.
Fifty-four men tee it up this week at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala. Number 1 on the money list is still Arron Oberholser, No. 2 is Patrick Moore and theyll play together in round 1 as the field is sent out in pairs based on their money list ranking.
But when do things get back to normal on this tour? It seems like forever that weve been talking about the four men with two wins each ' Oberholser, Moore, Jason Gore and Cliff Kresge ' trying to get their third. During that time weve seen the likes of Andy Miller, Roland Thatcher, David Branshaw and David Morland win tournaments and put themselves into this elite field. Surprising victors - all of them. And now each has a chance to get to the PGA Tour in 2003 with a spot in the Top 15.
All year Oberholser, Kresge (No. 3), Doug Barron (No. 4) and other top names have been the focus as we tried to pinpoint favorites. And this week, something tells me that the surprise winners are over.
If anybody would appear a lock to contend, it would be No. 9 Aaron Baddeley. Baddeley, the 21-year-old Australian has three top-4 finishes in a row and has all but assured himself a trip to the PGA Tour for 2003. Hes playing great and while he isnt No. 1 on the money list coming in, he might just be No. 1 on the minds of many.
In handicapping the field, Id also like the chances of Marco Dawson, No. 7. Dawson finished second at this Tour Championship three years ago to Spike McRoy. Hes battle-tested, PGA Tour-experienced and just plain good. Also beware Darron Stiles, No. 8. The North Carolinian played here last year and has just the right amount of length and toughness to hang in there.
But this event will, more than anything, be about patience. And with that in mind I like those who are experienced and thick-skinned. Number 17 is Omar Uresti. Omars been to the 'big show.' All he hasnt done on this tour is win. It might just be this week. And if not a win, I wouldnt be surprised to see him leap into the top 15. The same hunch is brewing about Jay Delsing. Jays played 17 years on the PGA Tour and the last two on the Buy.Com Tour. Hes never won at the big level, but won last year on the Buy.Com Tour in Arkansas and again this year in Omaha. Jays a new man and might just head home to St. Louis, Mo., with another pass to the PGA Tour.
Longshots might come in the form of No. 29 Emlyn Aubrey or No. 33 Jeff Freeman. Freeman is the former national PGA Club Professional champion and has been hard at work on his game this week. Length is hardly an issue for Freeman on this 7,600-yard layout. The accuracy will be. Number 41 Tom Carteris is long as most and finished second in this field here last year to Pat Bates. And never count out PGA Tour winner Mike Heinen. He plays fast, he plays long and he plays confident. Id hardly be shocked if he walked away with the top prize. Remember, top-15 rules the news but top-30 sends a player to the final stage of Q-School - which is a big bonus.
Should be great. Heres hoping the weather forecast (rain) is wrong and the golf is as good as weve been accustomed to seeing. If we get a surprise winner this week, Ill be surprised.
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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.